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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

to defend the independence of Poland, we should be debating whether
Poland is to be a State at all. For, make no mistake, that is the issue before
us. ... If, at the end of six years of fighting, we see the causes for which we
entered the war trampled underfoot, then, indeed, that case will be very
much strengthened, and it will lead to a sense of cynicism and shame
which will make it very difficult to get the people of this country to go to
war again, however sacred the cause. And the Prime Minister's speech
has left me with a feeling that the future is very uncertain. That speech
was composed of the dragon's teeth which are said to be the seeds of future
wars . . . the frontier question is not the most important one, and it is not,
but, even so, there are certain considerations which I think ought to be
borne in mind. The hon. Gentleman the Senior Burgess for Cambridge
University (Mr. Pickthorn), was perfectly right when he said that the Prime
Minister was not reproducing correctly the British attitude after the last
war. The facts can be stated quite briefly. On 8th September, 1919,
when the Supreme Council first proposed what later became known as the
A Curzon Line/ it was simply proposed as a line behind which the Polish
Government could get on with its administration, leaving the sovereignty
of territories east of that line to be settled later. It is true that on llth
July, 1920, Mr. Lloyd George, in conversation with Mr. Grabski, in-
dicated that line as the legitimate frontier of Poland, but, on the next day,
12th July;, when Lord Curzon communicated this line officially to the Polish
Government, it was not as a frontier, but as a temporary line of demarcation
along which hostilities might cease; it was not the case that this Line was
proposed as a permanent frontier between the two countries.
"... What is proposed by the Prime Minister is that Poland should be
shifted bodily westwards. The right hon. Gentleman did not seem to
realise all the problems which that would involve for Poland. She is
already involved in considerable hostility with the Soviet Union, and, if
anything is calculated to make a permanent enemy of Germany, it is such
a proposal. I do not say that it should not be carried out j it looks to me as
though it will have to be, but it is certainly going to create immense problems
for Poland, and, if the Allies urge the Polish Government to adopt such a
solution, they must do one thing more—they must give a joint and several
guarantee to Poland. That raises formidable problems for us, because we
are traditionally averse to giving such guarantees. But we have no right to
urge on Poland a solution bristling with such difficulties unless we are
prepared to make our own contribution to it.
" The Prime Minister has said that, if the Poles had agreed to the * Curzon
Line ' as a frontier—and, really, I wish we could drop the name e Curzon
Line'; why not call it the Supreme Council line, because ' Curzon' is a
misleading name and has done much harm—if the Poles had adopted the
Supreme Council Line, the Lublin Committee would not have been set up.
We have no assurance of that, and I am extremely doubtful myself whether
that would have been the case. We are not without experience in this
matter. Let us consider the case of General Sosnkowski . . . When the
Poles acceded to British pressure and dropped General Sosnkowski and
appointed General B6r in his place, what happened ? Within a few hours>
General Bor, to whom no one in this assembly is fit to hold a candle, was
denounced by the Lublin Committee as a traitor, and the head of this Com-
mittee had the impudence to suggest that he should be brought to trial for
his life . . . The right hon. Gentleman admitted that Poland, under these
proposals^ would lose a great deal of territory. I think; the right hon.
Gentleman under-estimated the amount, because I think it is as large as
46.5 per cent, of the area and one third of her population. The Prime